Scotland Catholics, New Zealand War Casualties, Michigan Bridge Repairs, More: Wednesday ResearchBuzz, July 28, 2021


Independent Catholic News: Scotland’s Catholic Museum launches interactive virtual site. “The new website unites all the collections of the Scottish Catholic Heritage Collections Trust Museum, and the historic Library and Archive (both of which are on loan to the University of Aberdeen). The website also provides a link to the Scottish Catholic Archives at Columba House in Edinburgh.”

Stuff New Zealand: A wish to see fiance’s overseas war grave sparked a mission to document every one. “Dennis Kerins had a vision. He wanted to photograph all war graves and primary memorials of New Zealanders who died in conflicts overseas and create a digital archive so biographical information and images are available online. Kerins, with the help of fellow New Zealand War Graves Trust trustee Derrick Bunn, has now gathered 40,000 images of headstones and cemeteries.”

Detroit Times: Online tool helps public track progress on bridge repairs, construction. “The Michigan Department of Transportation has a new tool to enable the public to track progress on local bridge repair projects. The new online dashboard … will display how close a bridge is to completion by percentage, updates, detour routes and other information for the 19 bridges MDOT is repairing or constructing.”


Ars Technica: Sean Gallagher and an AI expert break down our crazy machine-learning adventure. “We’ve spent the past few weeks burning copious amounts of AWS compute time trying to invent an algorithm to parse Ars’ front-page story headlines to predict which ones will win an A/B test—and we learned a lot. One of the lessons is that we—and by ‘we,’ I mainly mean ‘me,’ since this odyssey was more or less my idea—should probably have picked a less, shall we say, ambitious project for our initial outing into the machine-learning wilderness. Now, a little older and a little wiser, it’s time to reflect on the project and discuss what went right, what went somewhat less than right, and how we’d do this differently next time.” The event takes place Wednesday, July 28, at 1:00 pm Eastern.


Sky News: Pegasus spyware owner Novalpina to be liquidated after failure to resolve internal bust-up. “The London-headquartered private equity firm is to be wound up following a months-long dispute between its three principals and controversy over its ownership of the surveillance technology provider NSO Group, Sky News learns.”

9to5 Google: Google developing ‘Switch to Android’ app for iOS to copy data and apps from your iPhone. “Google is developing a new iOS app called ‘Switch to Android,’ which should be able to copy the most important data from your iPhone and bring over your apps.”


Architectural Digest: Design Renderings Should Reflect a Diverse Population—and This New App Can Help. “Since February of last year, Dash Marshall has been developing an app that automatically populates renderings at any stage of completion. Dubbed People Party! and currently in beta testing, the app generates colorblock-style images of pedestrians, shoppers, workers, and other human figures in a diversity of ages, shapes, and skin tones. Users can then upload their renderings, which appear as the backdrop to the vibrant scene. (The app does not record IP address or NDA content.)”


ReviewGeek: Museum of Pinball to Permanently Close, Auction Off Over 1,100 Games. “The Museum of Pinball, located in Banning, California, houses one of the largest collections of Pinball machines under one roof. Unfortunately, this amazing wonderland of games is closing its doors for good and will auction off more than 1,100 pinball machines.”

Library of Congress: Library of Congress Offers Grants to Support Contemporary Cultural Field Research within Diverse Communities. “The Library of Congress is offering a new series of grants to individuals and organizations working to document cultures and traditions of Black, Indigenous, and communities of color traditionally underrepresented in the United States.”

Daily Dot: Instagram bans popular pole-dancing blogger and activist, who says now ‘no one is safe’ with its sex policies. “As a City University of London lecturer and researcher, Dr. Carolina Are has been looking into the moderation practices around nudity and sexuality of the major social media platforms. As an activist, she has been calling tirelessly on Instagram to reconsider its policies since November 2020, when the company’s new terms of use further restricting sexually explicit content first got announced.”


Android Police: Google celebrates 10 years of bug bounties with a new gamified Bug Hunters website . “Google launched its bug bounty program more than ten years ago now, and it’s safe to say it’s been a big success. Last year alone, the company paid out a whopping $6.7 million to independent researchers who discovered issues with its products. As it heads into its second decade, Google’s Vulnerability Rewards Program (or VRP) has shared some details surrounding its accomplishments, along with a major reinvention of the entire platform.”

Department of Justice: Rare Cuneiform Tablet Bearing Portion of Epic of Gilgamesh Forfeited to United States. “Known as the Gilgamesh Dream Tablet, it originated in the area of modern-day Iraq and entered the United States contrary to federal law. An international auction house (the Auction House) later sold the tablet to Hobby Lobby Stores Inc. (Hobby Lobby), a prominent arts-and-crafts retailer based in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, for display at the Museum of the Bible (the Museum). Law enforcement agents seized the tablet from the Museum in September 2019.” Good morning, Internet…

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